Prairie Post (West Edition)
Removing barriers for First Nations people
Alberta’s government is making life easier for First Nations people by eliminating the Alberta Indian Tax Exemption (AITE) card.
After engaging with First Nations leaders, the government is discontinuing the Alberta Indian Tax Exemption (AITE) card, effective Oct. 4. Alberta will begin accepting the federal Certificate of Indian Status card (status card) as the only form of identification for applicable tax exemptions on-reserve in Alberta.
“First Nations leaders have asked me to eliminate the AITE card since I became minister of Indigenous Relations. We engaged with leaders and retailers and now we are getting rid of this unnecessary extra step for First Nations consumers. We are proud to continue removing barriers for First Nations people in Alberta,” said Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations, in a prepared statement.
Alberta’s government will continue to support tobacco and fuel tax exemptions for First Nations people, who will be able to use their status card to make purchases from participating retailers. Old, expired and temporary status cards will be accepted for purchases.
“We are grateful to Minister Wilson and the Alberta government for eliminating the AITE card. We felt the old card was discriminatory and we are thankful to have an ally in the province. This upholds our treaty rights and we appreciate this step forward.” Explained Ken Alook, member of council, Bigstone Cree Nation.
Eligible First Nations people and bands can purchase the following products without taxes and levies at the time of purchase:
• fuel products purchased on-reserve in Alberta or delivered to reserve
• tobacco products purchased on-reserve in Alberta • accommodations purchased on-reserve in Alberta
“Our commitment to cut red tape by one-third continues to make life better for Albertans and is a critical part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. Eliminating the redundant AITE card will make it easier for First Nations people to receive tax exemptions on-reserve in Alberta.”
Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction
• Beginning Oct. 4, federal status cards will become the sole proof of eligibility required by AITE retailers in order for First Nations customers to purchase tax-exempt fuel and tobacco on-reserve.
• First Nations people are urged to apply for a status card as soon as possible if they cannot locate theirs. This can be done through First Nations offices or online at canada.ca/indianstatus.
Eligible First Nations people can get a temporary confirmation of registration document by calling 1-800-5679604 toll-free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Old, expired and temporary status cards will be accepted for purchases.
• AITE retailers purchase products with tax included and submit a refund claim to government. They will continue to do so after the AITE card is eliminated.
As of January 2021, there were 115 registered AITE retail locations representing 99 unique legal entities in Alberta.
• The Government of Alberta recognizes that many First Nations people and communities in the province prefer not to describe themselves as Indians or Indian bands. These terms have been used where necessary to reflect their legal meaning in the federal Indian Act.